“A platform for the unconventional, we have always done more than just great food. Like always, expect the unexpected and dare to dine with us this party season.”

It’s a bold statement coming from any restaurant, but when the words are straight from Lucas Restaurants creative director Holly Lucas, you know she can back it up.

The group’s flagship diner Chin Chin made waves when it first opened, and its standing as a giant of Melbourne’s dining scene hasn’t changed in the 10 years since.

To celebrate the decade milestone, the restaurant is throwing a month-long birthday bash across its Melbourne and Sydney locations, with three one-off dinners leading up to a grand shindig in collaboration with local artists who’ve been part of the Chin Chin story.

On Wednesday May 5, the Thai eatery is turning up the heat with Chilli Inferno, a night dedicated to eye-watering spice. On the menu you’ll find dishes such as crispy pork belly and snake beans in a dry red curry; pad khaprao (holy basil stir-fry) with seafood; and nahm prik, a staple condiment made with fermented shrimp paste and fiery chilli. American spirits company Brown-Forman is helping cool things down with refreshing cocktails, beers and wines curated to enhance the spice journey.

A week later, on Wednesday May 12, expect a spread of vegetarian and plant-based earthly delights in the Garden of Eatin’. Lush garden greenery is the backdrop for a feast of crispy noodle salad with sweet corn, roasted long green eggplant with stir-fried tofu and northern-style mushroom laab, all with drinks to match. Fable Food Co is providing mushroom-growing kits for attendees to take home, and they come with Chin Chin menus to try when the shrooms are fully grown.

Then there’s executive chef Benjamin Cooper’s Dream Dinner on Wednesday May 19, featuring boundary-pushing Southeast Asian dishes that have never made it on the Chin Chin menu, but are leaving the confines of his imagination and going straight to the table for one night only. The intricate dishes will be paired with riesling and classic cocktails from Chin Chin and Go Go Bar’s repertoire, thanks to Brown-Forman.

Then there’s the birthday party on Thursday May 27 – the culminating candle-blowing event celebrating the last 10 years of the restaurant’s history.

“For the past decade, Chin Chin has pushed the boundaries and embraced the untraditional,” Lucas says. “We’re celebrating by inviting you to experience the flavour, flair and fun for a birthday bash like no other, collaborating with local artists, performers and creatives who have weaved their artistry into the Chin Chin timeline.”

It’s a crossover of food, art, music and culture alongside past collaborators such as curator and artist ØFF€RÎNGS, who helped bring Chin Chin’s immersive theatre-dining experience to life in 2019; queer dancer-creatives Bendy Ben and Jandruze; and culture-clash disco performer Tanzer. They’ll be joined by DJ Salvador Darling and in-house music curator Miss Goldie on decks, with food stations serving the restaurant’s greatest hits and a curated cocktail list designed to max out the fun.

Tickets for all four of Chin Chin’s 10th birthday events cost $165 per person. Bookings are open now.

chinchin10.com